Having solved the Amityville Horror – before the opening credits – real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) face their most batshit challenge yet: “England's Amityville”, better known as the Enfield Poltergeist.
With barely a British accent among them, single mum Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor) and her brood (including talented newcomer Madison Wolfe) face just about every form of supernatural manifestation imaginable, most notably a nasty old man haunting one of their armchairs (nobody suggests just throwing it out), but could it all be a hoax?
Well, no. With not one but two vengeful ghosts to fight, a promising (but ultimately pointless) CG “Crooked Man”, Lorraine's doomy premonitions and all manner of possessed children/dogs/toys to get to grips with, this is a lively little number and no mistake. But the disconnect between James Wan's whizzy camerawork and the grim suburban Britain of the 1970s doesn't help the unruly material bed down.
In 133 minutes, there's never a dull moment – nor strictly, a good one. By the time the narrative freezes so Ed can croon Elvis Presley's “I Can't Help Falling In Love With You” on acoustic guitar, you'll be pinching yourself in disbelief, and not for the first time.